Just a few weeks ago we posted an article that gives archeological evidence for Christ’s resurrection. Now their has been a discovery of the nails that may have been used at Christ’s crucifixion. Apparently, they were discoved inside the tomb of Caiaphas, the high priest that turned Jesus over to the authorities. Why would he be buried with these nails?
Another archaeological find may show support for the early christian church, specifically the idea of Jesus’ resurrection as depicted in the gospels. Many skeptics claim the resurrection is a legend that developed over the span of several centuries. Jehovah Witnesses intrepret the crucifixion itself on a wooden stake instead of a cross like Christianity (disclaimer: whether Christ was crucified on a stake or a cross is somewhat irrevalant to the fact that he was crucified). However, this new find includes an inscription of the cross and its dating is very close to the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. Before we proclaim any more good news, though, we need to wait for the evidence to be tested and reviewed before coming to conclusions based on artifacts. We have already arrived at our conclusion: Jesus claimed to be the Messiah, was crucified and resurrected, through our faith.
During our discussion on Women in Ministry we emphasized the danger of altering the Word of God to fit the social climate. We know that the Nazarene Church strives to be egalitarian in regard to clergy positions. According to this article, the Southern Baptist denomination will condemn the new NIV version as they did in 2005 for similar reasons. Will the Nazarene church sponsor this new NIV version?
Two weeks later, our unofficial poll on “Women In Ministry” states the obvious: Women should be allowed to serve as clergy in a pastoral role (70%). “Obvious” because the Nazarene church adheres to the egalitarian theory rather than the complementarian theory that several other denominations believe. As Nazarenes, we believe that women and men are equal in all respects with regard to ministry; women are not barred from holding any title in the church. In contrast, the complementarian position states that men and women should have roles in ministry that complement each other, but are not necessary equal with respect to titles. For example, the complementarian position would not allow a woman to be ordained as a pastor but a woman would be indispensable to serve the children’s ministry.
Both of these perspectives have some biblical basis. One thing we should agree on is that we should not aim to change the Word so that it fits in nicely with the current culture and society. Several Christian denominations have ordained persons who openly practice homosexuality and some are performing same-sex marriage ceremonies in God’s name. We should not study these kinds of issues with the presumption that the Bible must adhere to the culture; rather, the Word of God does not change and we must resist pressures to change it to our liking. The bottom line is that the Nazarene church believes there is a biblical basis for women in ministry, including pastoral roles.
That being said, we can discuss the issue at it relates to Alhambra Nazarene church. Although we currently have a male pastor, the church board only has 2 men as of March 2011 (one is the treasurer, another is the plant manager). Historically, this ratio has held steady in recent years and is not likely to change. Let’s switch scenarios for a minute…suppose that we reversed the gender roles. We would have a female pastor and male dominated church board. The treasurer would be a woman which presents no obvious problem (my wife is much smarter than I!). However, would a woman serve effectively as a plant manager? Probably not. Would men feel comfortable with a female lead pastor? Perhaps, but some men may simply prefer to have a male pastor because that is all they know. Some may argue that men hold a natural position of strength that is very difficult for a woman to emulate. These concerns are remedied through the electoral process where people may choose their pastor or church board representatives with a ballot.
Let me reiterate: men and women were created equal. However, we cannot disagree with the following: men and women are very different! Anyone who is married or in relationship can attest to this fact. Generally speaking, men like sports and women like… as a man, I’m not sure what they like to do, but I know it’s usually the opposite. Men like to build things, they enjoy challenges and risks. Women are great at nurturing, especially with children, and they have made a greater impact in the missionary fields. If this is true then we need both men and women to take leadership roles in the church.
Well, here it is! Our first attempt at automating some of our discussions and resources so that they can readily accessible from one location. Please provide your comments so that we can make improvements.